Integrity: David (vocals); Blaze, Mike Jochum (guitar); Steve (bass); Chubbz (drums).
Personnel: Michael Jochum (guitar).
Illustrator: Jacob Bannon.
Hardcore usually achieves excitement by main force -- bludgeoning you with a relentless wall of sound and/or amazing you with its sheer virtuosic speed and undiluted rage. Integrity is as fast and loud as the best of them, but the band achieves excitement on its latest album by being -- of all things -- subtle. Yes, it's possible to be subtle while screaming your head off. One way you can do it is by screaming your head off way, way back in the mix while the guitars slowly build to a surprisingly elegant harmonic climax shortly before bursting into a welter of machine-gun riffage, of course, at which point your voice comes hurtling to the fore. Another way you can do it is by throwing a downright pretty 50-second acoustic interlude into the program between the jackhammer beats of "Dreams Bleed On" and the more churning metallisms of "Heavens Final War." These surprisingly graceful instrumental interludes show up every so often throughout the (unfortunately brief) program, making its more frenetic moments that much more effective. Great stuff. ~ Rick Anderson
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